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Photo by Melissa Driggers Photography

8 Exciting Things to Do in Northern Virginia with Kids

As a Northern Virginia resident, you know that there are endless opportunities for fun and adventure with your kids. With so many museums, parks, and other attractions right in your own backyard, it can be hard to decide what to do on a weekend or a day off. But don’t worry! Here’s a list of 8 things to do in Northern Virginia with kids that are sure to please families of all ages.

From visiting Smithsonian museums to exploring Great Falls, these activities are not only fun but also educational for your little ones. Whether you’re looking for a new way to spend a day with your kids or seeking inspiration for your next family outing, this guide will help you make the most out of what’s available around you in Northern Virginia.


Things to Do in Northern Virginia with Kids


Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Visit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is one of the most popular attractions in the area. Kids will love exploring the many exhibits, which include dinosaurs, gemstones, and live animals. You can also check out the Butterfly Habitat exhibit, where kids can see live butterflies flying around, and the Ocean Hall, where you can learn about marine life and see life-size models of sea creatures. Find all the information you need on their website.


Great Falls

Explore the Great Falls of the Potomac River. The Great Falls are located in Great Falls Park, which is just a short drive from Northern Virginia. The park offers stunning views of the falls, as well as hiking trails, picnic areas, and a visitor center with educational exhibits. You can also take a guided tour with a Park Ranger, or participate in activities like kayaking, that the park offers.


Mount Vernon

Take a trip to Mount Vernon. Located just outside of Washington, D.C., Mount Vernon was the plantation home of George Washington. The estate offers a variety of activities for kids, including tours of the mansion, gardens, and outbuildings, as well as hands-on activities and demonstrations. You can also take a walk around the estate’s farm and learn about the animals and crops that were grown there in the 18th century.


National Children’s Museum

Spend the day at the National Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C. This museum offers a wide variety of interactive exhibits and activities designed specifically for children. Kids can explore the museum’s many exhibits, which focus on science, technology, engineering, and math. The museum has hands-on exhibits that allow children to learn through play. The National Children’s Museum also regularly organizes programs and events, such as story time and craft activities, that are designed to further engage children and make learning fun.


National Air and Space Museum

Visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The National Air and Space Museum is a must-see for kids who are interested in airplanes and space travel. This museum has one of the largest collections of aircraft and spacecraft in the world. Visitors can see everything from the Wright Brothers’ 1903 Flyer, the first powered aircraft to fly, to the Apollo 11 Command Module, the spacecraft that took the first humans to the moon.

The museum features a wide variety of aircraft, spacecraft, and other artifacts, as well as interactive exhibits and simulators. The museum also offers live demonstrations, lectures, and special programs that are tailored to different ages, making it an engaging and entertaining experience for the whole family.


Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Visit the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Located in Washington, D.C., this museum has exhibits that showcase American history, culture, and innovation. It features interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and artifacts that will spark the interest of children of all ages. The museum has an exhibit dedicated to the American Presidency, where you can see artifacts like Abraham Lincoln’s top hat, and also learn about the history of the White House.


National Museum of the Marine Corps

Visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Located in Triangle, Virginia, the National Museum of the Marine Corps is a great way for children to learn about the history and traditions of the United States Marine Corps. The museum features interactive exhibits, artifacts, and hands-on activities that will delight kids and parents alike. There are also interactive simulators and videos that give an immersive experience and help kids understand the Marine’s mission and training.


Manassas National Battlefield Park

Visit the Manassas National Battlefield Park. This is a great way to teach kids about the American Civil War, the battles fought in the area and the impact of the war in American history. The park features walking trails, interpretive centers, and guided tours that will help kids understand the significance of the war. The park also has a Junior Ranger program, where kids can complete activities and earn a badge.


Things to Do in Northern Virginia with Kids


These are just a few of the many child-friendly things to do in Northern Virginia. With a little bit of planning, you can create a fun and memorable experience for your kids that they will always treasure. In addition to these top ten things to do in Northern Virginia with kids, there are many other attractions and activities in the area that are sure to keep your little ones entertained while also providing more educational experiences. Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor fun, Northern Virginia has something for everyone.


If you’re reading about things to do in Northern Virginia with kids, I’d love to talk to you about your family photography needs! Reach out and let’s talk about getting your family photos updated!


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Melissa Driggers is an award winning Northern Virginia photographer. Her work has been featured in various magazines. She offers styled maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her true to color, timeless style.
Melissa serves Fairfax, Springfield, Alexandria, Arlington, Manassas, Woodbridge and surrounding areas in Northern Virginia & Washington DC